Nine Finalists for 2021 NACTOY Awards Announced

This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)frFrançais (French)

Media contact:
Brent Snavely
Lambert & Co.
M: 313.378.6082


Nine Finalists for 2021 NACTOY Awards Announced

NACTOY names nine finalists for car, truck and utility of the year awards

DETROIT, December 17, 2020 – NACTOY jury voting for the 2021 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year™ Finalists is in and has been tallied and audited by Deloitte in Detroit.

The selection of nine finalists is the second-to-last step in the year-long evaluation process for the three awards before jurors vote and announce winners in January. Here are this year’s finalists listed in alphabetical order within each category:

Car of the Year:

Genesis G80 – photos and B-roll

Hyundai Elantra – photos and B-Roll

Nissan Sentra –photos and B-roll


Truck of the Year:

Ford F-150 – photos and B-roll

Jeep Gladiator Mojave – photos and B-Roll

Ram 1500 TRX – photos and B-roll


Utility Vehicle of the Year:

Ford Mustang Mach E – photos and B-roll

Genesis GV80 – photos and B-roll

Land Rover Defender – photos and B-roll


Link to all photo and video folders

In this very challenging year, these nine vehicles emerged as our Finalists out of an unusually strong field of 27 Semifinalists,” said NACTOY president Gary Witzenburg. “Each one of them – especially the 15 in the ultra-competitive utility vehicle category – is excellent in nearly every way. Not to mention the automakers’ unusually difficult challenge of getting our 50 jurors from all over North America into their candidate vehicles for testing and evaluation prior to our later-than-usual voting deadline.”

The process of selecting NACTOY’s coveted Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards begins with a list of all eligible new or substantially changed vehicles launched for each model year, which the jurors test and evaluate through three rounds of voting as they become available.

“Just as individual car buyers have their own purchase criteria, each of our 50 expert jurors has his or her own individual process for evaluating candidate vehicles,” said NACTOY Vice President Jack R. Nerad, “which results in a robust and comprehensive competition that looks at the contenders from every possible angle. We are proud of the vast experience and diversity of our panel of jurors.”

Founded in 1994, these awards are the longest-running new-vehicle awards not associated with a single publication, website, radio or television station. They are judged by professional automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who work for and contribute to a wide variety of magazines, newspapers, websites, television and radio stations. Because of the jurors’ independence, these awards are among the most respected in the industry. As always, NACTOY’s jury strives to honor excellence in automotive innovation, design, safety, performance, technology, driver satisfaction and value.

Final voting will take place Jan. 2-4, 2021, and the 2021 NACTOY Car, Truck and Utility of the Year winners will be announced on January 11. Details about the new format of this event will be announced soon.

Spanish and French versions of this release will be available on NACTOY’s website. For more information about NACTOY and its history:



For media interviews with NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg call or email:; 517.339.6578

To arrange media interviews with Vice President Jack Nerad, Secretary Gary Vasilash, Treasurer Jeff Gilbert or Membership Chairman Karl Brauer call or email Brent Snavely at or call 313.378.6082.



The awards are intended to recognize the most outstanding new vehicles of the year. These vehicles are benchmarks in their segments based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. The organization gives out three awards. They are: “North American Car of the Year™,” “North American Truck of the Year™,” and the “North American Utility Vehicle of the Year™.” The awards are unique because they are given by an independent jury of automotive journalists from the United States and Canada instead of being given by a single publication, website, radio or television station.